Oct 23, 2017 | By Benedict

Spanish medical tech company Exovite has joined forces with Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid. The collaboration has resulted Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets being used by surgeons, allowing them to quickly see CT scan data, ultrasound data, and more through Microsoft HoloLens goggles.

AR/VR newbies need to get with the program quickly, because there’s another slightly vague term in town. “Mixed reality” (MR) is a different approach to augmented and virtual reality that merges real and virtual worlds, and which is currently being spearheaded by Microsoft. It's looking like a big phenomenon in the tech world, with Microsoft taking on established VR providers like HTC and Oculus by effectively merging AR and VR in a single system.

One of the big advantages of Mixed Reality is its ability to track movement without external sensors dotted throughout the physical environment, but tech companies have found a huge number of ways to tinker with the HoloLens platform since its developer launch in early 2016.

A number of Windows-friendly companies like Acer, Dell, and HP are now developing their own Windows Mixed Reality headsets, and customers from a range of fields are thinking about how they might be able to put the new technology to use when the technology becomes more commonplace.

Exovite and Gregorio Marañón Hospital have one idea: they’re looking to use customized Microsoft Hololens headsets to help surgeons perform procedures on patients. By providing useful information right in front of a surgeon’s eyes as he or she operates, the two parties think they can both increase the accuracy and shorten the time of certain procedures.

The Mixed Reality system has been developed by a combined team of radiologists, engineers, and surgeons, and is the first tool of its kind. But it’s hardly the first clever innovation to spring from the forward-thinking minds at the Madrid-based hospital, which has also used future technologies like 3D printing in previous projects.

“We are the first in the world to carry out radiological imaging in the operating room using Mixed Reality glasses,” said Gregorio Marañón Hospital’s Dr Rubén Pérez Mañanes. “We were the first to use 3D printing in cancer surgery in 2014, and now also to mix 3D printing with Mixed Reality glasses in a real surgery.”

When surgeons put on these customized Hololens headsets, they can bring up a range of visual images, including data from CT scans, ultrasounds, X-rays, and 3D models, all through an interactive holographic panel system.

And this system has already been put to use. In April, a team of surgeons used the Mixed Reality tool to operate on a patient with a malignant muscular tumor, using the headset to visualize MRI and radiography information during the surgery.

According to those involved, use of the headset reduced the surgery time from around eight hours to something like four and a half—a time saving that reduce’s the surgeon’s stress levels and ultimately leads to better performance.

One of the most useful features of the Mixed Reality system is its hands-free nature. Since surgeons will likely have their hands full during a procedure, they simply need to make vocal commands to bring up various pieces of information. The developers say it’s easy to use, and even allows the user to rotate and move the visual information in front of them.

And although the vocal commands are especially important for the system’s surgical application, users can also make hand gestures to manipulate information in a more precise way.

Moving forward, surgeons at Gregorio Marañón Hospital plan to use the Mixed Reality system in trauma and orthopedic surgeries, likely increasing its use above the current schedule of around once a month.

One thing that surgeons think would make the system more useful, however, is simply making the headset more comfortable to wear. The HoloLens might be fine for an hour’s play, but wearing it for four and a half hours of intense surgery reportedly puts a bit of strain on the wearer’s head.

Despite this small problem, Gregorio Marañón Hospital staff think that both MR/AR/VR technology and 3D printing will have a big role to play in hospitals of the future.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Genji Shimada wrote at 10/24/2017 4:48:54 PM:

OHHHHHHHH MY gad DIS IS gonana sdf BE sO GRET SOry for My engilesh is bery bad

All Things 3D wrote at 10/24/2017 6:59:40 AM:

Actually Mixed Reality 'XR' is what both Apple ARKit and Google Core AR are adn allow tracking of the real world, to anchor virtual objects to it. To give the illusion the objects are part of the scene when viewed on proper iOS or Android phone/tablet. The real difference between the Hololens (and Meta) is projecting the image onto a transparent semi-mirror giving you the illusion the objects or planes are part of the real scene in front of your eyes. This plus the ability to focus on XR objects at different focal distances, is what supposedly sets the vaporware device from Magic Leap apart. Sadly these products are not cheap or two cases, readily available. Microsoft just filed for patent that would allow them to using the existing projection technology to increase the FOV twice its current value, one of the main limitations of the Hololens. However, they are less expensive products that also allow for projection based XR and that is the Mira Prism (iPhone only) and the upcoming Lenovo Mirage (iPhone & Android). The Mira Prism also has Unity 3D based SDK which could lend itself to more than just games or entertainment, and could also be used in similar manner as the Hololens for far less as long as you have the iPhone to power it.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive